Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Let's just keep things simple, says Horgan

Shane Horgan believes Ireland must get back to basics in their bid to play themselves out of their alarming slump in form which is threatening to derail their World Cup campaign.

The return of the hugely experienced and talented Leinster wing for Saturday's clash against Georgia in Bordeaux is a timely boost for Eddie O'Sullivan's side, whose confidence has been shot to pieces following a poor pre-tournament campaign and the horror show against Namibia.

Horgan, who comes in for Andrew Trimble on the right wing, with the Ulsterman ruled out of the game with a broken finger, cut a frustrated spectator as Namibia dominated the second half at the Stade Chaban Delmas last Sunday night.

But he believes the team can click back into form against Georgia - if they concentrate on their individual roles.

"It is about playing pretty simple rugby and everyone doing their job," said Horgan. "I think when you are playing against what is perceived to be a weaker nation - although Georgia will be stronger than Namibia ? everyone wants to get their hands on the ball and play a really elaborate type of rugby and that isn't always the smart thing to do.

"I think when everyone does their job correctly, we play our best rugby."

Not for the first time in his career, Horgan has once again shown remarkable powers of recovery having suffered knee ligament damage in a freak accident during the warm-up match against Scotland in Murrayfield last month.

Before he had the injury scanned, he feared his World Cup could have been over before it had even started. But having undergone intense rehabilitation work with Ulster pair Cameron Steele (team physio) and Mike McGurn (team fitness coach), he said he felt in perfect condition.

"Getting the injury just two weeks before the start of the World Cup was a big worry and I knew it was serious. I felt a little pop and I knew immediately that it was medial ligament related. Those things can take a long time.

" Thankfully when we got the scan, it was a grade two tear and that gave me the chance to get back.

"My leg was in a brace for a couple of weeks so I didn't have full movement but I was able to do some weights pretty quickly and after I was given the go-ahead to take off the brace, it was a steady gradual increase in recreating the movements that you would do on the pitch.

"The last week and a half I was back on the pitch, running with the guys and doing full fitness sessions. I now taken part in full contact sessions.

"I am itching to get back on the pitch now. I can't wait to get involved."